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Piercy & Co wins go-ahead for Ealing church

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Piercy & Company has won planning for this new 1,200m2 church in Drayton Green, Ealing

The ‘extremely flexible’ building for the International Presbyterian Church will be able to house a congregation of 200 will feature a brass, shingle-tile ‘roofscape’ sat on ‘rusticated’ masonry walls. The scheme incorporates an existing 80-seat Edwardian Grade II-listed chapel.

Although originally expected to start on site last summer (2013), construction has now been pencilled in for January 2015.

The architect’s view

To accommodate a range of pastoral and community uses simultaneously, we’ve developed a programme of flexible spaces which can be configured as needed. The challenge lay in balancing these pragmatic programming considerations with a spiritual spatial experience. The soaring ceilings and vaulted spaces of traditional church architecture provided a key reference point for the church’s form.
Retention of the listed chapel, located on the southern boundary of the site, guided the scheme.

The new building wraps the chapel, linking it to the entrance hall to the front and worship space to the rear, its walls encountered as an unexpected, rustic interior object. In this way, the interior - the main reason for the chapel’s designation - will be preserved and used as a prayer, study and meeting room.
The pleated roof form creates a finer grain, reducing the perception of the building’s massing within a predominantly residential street. As the roof rises towards the front of the site, the folds peak in an abstracted spire, signalling the building’s ecclesiastical function. This roofscape is clad in weathered brass, a practical and expressive material.


Previous story (AJ 01.11.12)

Piercy & Co’s reveals Ealing church with ‘spire-like’ folding roof

Piercy & Company has unveiled plans for this 1,200m2 scheme for the International Presbyterian Church in Ealing

The practice was brought in by the church in July last year to look at a replacement for its existing home at Drayton Green, which only had capacity for 80 people.

The ‘extremely flexible’ new building, which will be able to house a congregation of 130, will feature a brass, shingle-tile ‘roofscape’ sat on ‘rusticated’ masonry walls.

Stuart Piercy, founder of Piercy & Company, said: ‘The challenge had been to capture the feel of a place of worship rather than a community hall. We created more than a 100 folded paper models to refine the proportion and form of the church. The spatial freedom of a church is a fascinating opportunity to explore dynamic spaces and expressive and symbolic forms.’

A planning application is expected to be submitted before the end of the year with work starting in summer 2013.

Model experiments with the folded roof - photography by Jack Hobhouse

Source: Jack Hobhouse

Model experiments with the folded roof - photography by Jack Hobhouse

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